Water is rising

A friend from Los Angeles mentioned when visiting us a few days ago that he had recently seen a striking performance at UCLA by dancers from the Pacific islands of Tuvalu, Tokelau and Kiribati. Climate change figured strongly in the concert, which was part of a project called Water is Rising. Intrigued, I tracked down the project website and to my delight discovered a video of the live performance at UCLA (presented above). I say delight advisedly because I was unable to tear myself away from the 90-minute performance once I’d begun to watch it, captivated by its dance and song and moved by the simple human appeal that accompanied it. The performers were bringing their unique cultural art to American audiences, but they were also haunted by the deep threat to their cultures of the rising sea levels and they had a clear message to go with their performance.

It’s a message which I think we in the developed world need to hear over and over again. I’ve therefore transcribed some of the introductory words of the leaders of the three groups. They were not carefully crafted, the speakers felt for their words, and the English syntax was not always perfect, but the plea was all the more telling for that. The Tuvalu leader, gesturing towards the performers:

These are the human face of climate change. We are the most vulnerable people to climate change and we are here with a simple message to you all – for you to give us a hand, for your minds to feel with us, your hearts to be with us. We are here to represent our countries…we [Tuvalu] are small, we are only 24 square kilometres land mass.  No mountains for us to hide ourselves when it comes to sea level rise…we are only three to four metres high. Please think of us, and enjoy yourselves.

The Kiribati leader:

We from the island of Kiribati would like you to take a deep look at climate change. We…are now experiencing the effects of climate change. So we are now here to send you a message, to big developed countries. If they could minimize the use of greenhouse gases or if they could go for renewable energy – if they can do that we could live in our island, if they could do that we would have a chance

The Tokelau leader expressed his thanks for the great opportunity:

…to show to the people of America and the world the face of the people affected by water is rising   To show the world that when we travel we are one nation, we are the Pacific. May God bless us all. Give us your heart while you enjoy.

After the opening items from each group the Tuvalu leader spoke once more:

These are the cultures and the traditions that we are going to lose when you and I don’t do anything about it.   These are the cultures and the traditions that connected to us… Please – these are the grassroots coming along the way from Tuvalu, from Tokelau and from Kiribati to negotiate with you about climate change… If we do not do something about it it will kill the life of the people of the small island countries in the Pacific. So please be with us and work with us to make us free from climate change and sea level rise.

And the Tokelau leader had one more say:

Where I come from is a very very tiny atoll. If we see a problem we like to make a solution. When the world sees the problem that is climate change the developed world come out with Kyoto protocol, emissions targets, and all of this. You know I tell you a story. In Tokelau we contributed almost nothing to the emissions rate but in Tokelau in our national strategic plan for 2011 to 2013 Tokelau is going to become the first nation in the Pacific to depend on renewable energy only. That is our message for you to help us.  These are the warriors – our land might be small but we have the biggest heart to fight our cause and I present to you the warriors that represent all the people of Tokelau. They’re going to do the war dance.  Enjoy.

A transcription can’t convey the cadence, the significant pauses, the sheer earnestness of delivery. To get that you’ll need to watch at least part of the performance, which I certainly recommend doing. Unsophisticated statements like these don’t carry the weight of scientific analysis or carefully assembled data. But what they do carry is what is most important for human beings – a communication of the extreme severity of the disruptions climate change threatens for human community. The people of these small island nations know that sea level rise may be the end of their societies and they may become displaced persons.  They don’t take comfort from the foolish assertions of deniers. They don’t put on a brave face. The Tuvalu spokesman said in an earlier panel discussion that the words climate change bring tears to his eyes. Although they proudly present their cultural art to American audiences they nevertheless know that they are supplicants seeking changes in the behaviour of rich countries, changes that they are unlikely to see.

These performers represent cultures fifteen hundred years in the making. As project director Judy Mitoma described them in the panel discussion:

Here we are talking with and being with people who have cultivated a way of life in a very difficult circumstance…and the courage, the collective ethos…the sharing within the community are things that virtually are hard to find on this planet. In fact you might argue this is the one place where the culture of sharing, the culture of collective unity is still very alive because of their way of life. This makes the climate change discussion even more important than ever because it’s as though we have people who have treasured knowledge of how to live together in peace, who if they have to leave their island will be dispersed across the world and will no doubt lose their own culture in the process.

The panel discussion was prefaced by items from the dance groups and Professor Alex Hall, a climate scientist on the panel, concluded his explanation of the factors bearing upon sea level rise with this statement, which puts a finger on the importance of hearing from those who already see what climate change portends.

I guess finally, I was just really struck as I was watching these dancers by how irrelevant the science seems and I was thinking about what I would say up here and I was thinking what could I say that would be more powerful and eloquent than what we just saw…science is obviously a very powerful tool and very necessary, but for climate change what we really need, what the bottleneck is, is putting a human face on it, understanding it from a human perspective. That’s what people ultimately respond to…I don’t think people really are listening to the scientists and I don’t think we are the ones that have the ability to carry the message forward. So I really applaud this effort today.

55 thoughts on “Water is rising”

  1. “Water is rising”… YAWN!

    Sorry to disappoint you guys, but you can pack up the Gareth Renowden Pony Show now and go home. The show’s over. Even your mates at the UEA (ie., the Climategate gang) and the UK Met Office have changed their minds on global warming. They are now saying, finally, that there isn’t any. Like Hansen finally admitting it was the Sun all along, it took them long enough to see the bleedin obvious:

    “The supposed ‘consensus’ on man-made global warming is facing an inconvenient challenge after the release of new temperature data showing the planet has not warmed for the past 15 years.

    The figures suggest that we could even be heading for a mini ice age to rival the 70-year temperature drop that saw frost fairs held on the Thames in the 17th Century.

    Based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations, the data was issued last week without fanfare by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit. It confirms that the rising trend in world temperatures ended in 1997.”

    http://tinyurl.com/724xv4s

    1. It’s cheering to realise that the “anti” brigade’s cause is being done irreparable harm by the recent appearance of two of its most ignorant and offensive trolls. Keep it up guys!

  2. “insensitivity”??

    Why is it “insensitive”? Because I disagree? Because I dare post a contradictory statement?

    I think you’re upset because your mates at the UEA have had to admit things aren’t going so well for CAGW religious dogma. You don’t like it. Too bad.

    1. Oaf.

      Joe, we’re all only too aware that your remarkably robust skull is impervious to mere fact and reason, but your fantasy trillion-billionth nail in the coffin of AGW is, as usual, just that.

      The truly interesting issue is the observation that it’s precisely this kind of blatantly manipulative propaganda op your side are reduced to.

    2. Here’s what the Met Office has to say on this latest pathetic little exercise in misinformation.

      You know, the real one, with the actual real-live hard-working, competent and honest scientists working for it, not the fantastic, garbled, poisonous and grotesque caricatures that clutter up your head, or Bryan L’s, or Roger’s.

      And, what do you know! Here’s the exact same propaganda stunt pulled again, this time in Murdoch’s toxic WSJ –

      “Yale Economist: Op-Ed Includes “Complete Mischaracterization Of My Work” WSJ Op-Ed Cited William Nordhaus To Argue Against Government Action On Climate. From the Wall Street Journal op-ed:

      Even if one accepts the inflated climate forecasts of the IPCC, aggressive greenhouse-gas control policies are not justified economically. A recent study of a wide variety of policy options by Yale economist William Nordhaus showed that nearly the highest benefit-to-cost ratio is achieved for a policy that allows 50 more years of economic growth unimpeded by greenhouse gas controls. [Wall Street Journal, 1/27/12]

      Nordhaus: “This Is A Complete Mischaracterization Of My Work.” Nordhaus stated via email:

      This is a complete mischaracterization of my work. I have repeatedly called for restraints on CO2 and other GHG emissions. The most beneficial policies are ones with a modest near-term and sharply rising carbon price. The weasel word is “nearly,” which allows them to make an inaccurate and misleading statement. [Email exchange, 1/27/12]

      How many more times are you buffoons going to attempt to pull this stunt. Do you feel no shame at all, you sad, mean-spirited, hollow little men?

      I’d also appreciate it if you’d immediately cease your conflict-entrepreneur crass attempt to derail the thread, and refrain from commenting further on this post.

  3. No you didn’t answer my question Bill. You are blowing smoke.

    Bryan Walker said I was being “insensitive” posting that comment above.

    Why is this “insensitive”:

    [snip – no need to repeat yourself. This is off-topic in this thread – which is for discussion of the post above, not your fantasies. GR]
    ?

    1. You, sir, are a joke.

      SkS has taken steps to stop your ilk from derailing threads. I resent the discussion immediately being dragged from real issues confronting real people to the Dunning Kruger Institute’s imbecility du jour.

    2. If you can’t see the insensitivity there’s likely little I can say to make it plain. But I’ll try. It’s insensitive because it’s made in the face of the deep anxieties of the Islanders, it’s triumphal in tone and implies that they are misreporting their experience. Quite apart from the fact that it’s nonsense, I don’t think this is where you should have jauntily trumpeted your finding. The people I have directed attention to in this post are deserving of a hearing.

  4. At last, an answer to my question! Thank you Bryan. However your explanation is specious. Although you do get close to the truth when you say I implied the Pacific Islanders “are misreporting their experience”. They are indeed! Their governments are in it for the money, ie., the financial “aid” which would evaporate if they admit the truth that their islands are not at all threatened by rising sea levels. Had they been so threatened, as you presume, we would be seeing the predicted “climate refugees” that are supposed to be inundating our shores. Where are they??

    So yes, my tone is indeed “triumphant” because the islanders are quite safe from this particular hobgoblin, despite the arm-waving that their doom is imminent. You should be celebrating the lack of “climate refugees” Bryan because there simply aren’t any!

    [Link removed: no link spam, please. GR]

      1. In another thread I argued that coral atolls keep up with sea level rise and that they are kept a couple of metres above sea level because storms continually add broken coral to the land. When sea level falls, during glaciations the weak coral rock is eroded as far as the sea level falls. Drill cores fro the Great Barrier Reef support this conventional view. Nevertheless Dappledwater claimed that the atolls stand above sea level because sea level was higher in the past. If sea level was several metres higher was not the climate necessarily warmer? However you are all ready to deny, with much passion and invective, that the climate resembles Mann’s hockey stick for thousands of years. You cannot have it both ways, either the climate changed or it did not. If it changed you reject Mann’s thesis, if it did not the atolls are maintained above sea level as I proposed.

    1. Joe Fone, have you ever talked to somebody who lives on these islands? How do you think they will value your ‘contribution’ to this debate, based on laughable lies and misrepresentation in the UK gutter press and associated “marketeers” of denier propaganda?

      Go back to your plastic soldiers collection where you can get stuck into defending the self-righteous and the clueless against the onslaught of science and environmentalists and their ghastly ideas of global cooperation, individual and corporate restraint and a transition to a sustainable lifestyle……

  5. Bill, SkS has a really funny post coming up in the next day or 3. Figure 1 is a graphic that you must share widely – it makes explicit how deniers like Joe Fone ignore all that ocean warming, i.e global warming. It’s a goodie.

    1. Perhaps Joe Fone et. al should simply watch some physics demos where heat applied to a sample not always causes a nice linear temperature change do to other effects such as changes in mixing or turbulence or phase changes taking place, all the while the thermal energy contained in the system is rising unabated as per the net inflow of heat….

  6. Joe is just doing his job, which is to blunt the power and emotional impact of the islanders’ performance by throwing the online equivalent of a brick through the window of a synagogue.

    Clearly, he is a frightened little man, next to whom, Roger Dewhurst looks like an intellectual.

  7. Thomas: ” laughable lies and misrepresentation” That is very funny Thomas! Ever hear of Climategate I and Cliamtegate II?

    Oh by the way, record LOW temperatures in Europe yet AGAIN! How many more winters like this do we need before you wallies get the fact that manmade global warming is both a myth and a scam? The planet is cooling unfortunately. I really do wish you were right though. Global warming would be neat. Sadly it’s not a happening thing. But then that’s precisely why it’s all about “climate change”… sorry, I meant “climate disruption” now. Play down the warming bit and emphasize the “change” bit. A dollar each way.

    As for “rising sea levels threatening the Pacific islands”, yeah right! I’ll get my violin out. Like I asked earlier, where are the alleged “climate refugees”?? Anyone?

    1. Everybody: Please don’t feed the troll.

      Joe: any more in this vein and you will be on permanent moderation (like Dewhurst) – that is, I will only pass your comments for publication if I deem they add to the conversation. See the comment policy for more detail.

      1. I was going to suggest that I’d fund a one way ticket for joe to Tuvalu, so that he could convey his good tidings to them personally . With such a message I’m sure they would love to have him for dinner. 🙂

  8. Alright then… on topic: If Pacific islands are supposed to be in iminent danger of inundation from rising sea levels due to manade warming, where are the alleged “climate refugees” that we are supposed to be seeing?

    “In October 2005, UNU said: “Amid predictions that by 2010 the world will need to cope with as many as 50 million people escaping the effects of creeping environmental deterioration, United Nations University experts say the international community urgently needs to define, recognize and extend support to this new category of ‘refugee.'”
    (http://tinyurl.com/7ctzbp6)

    Instead, it seems the opposite is happening:

    “The UNEP even provided a handy map. The map shows us the places most at risk including the very sensitive low lying islands of the Pacific and Caribbean.

    It so happens that just a few of these islands and other places most at risk have since had censuses, so it should be possible for us now to get some idea of the devastating impact climate change is having on their populations. Let’s have a look at the evidence:

    Bahamas:
    Nassau, The Bahamas – The 2010 national statistics recorded that the population growth increased to 353,658 persons in The Bahamas. The population change figure increased by 50,047 persons during the last 10 years.

    St Lucia:
    The island-nation of Saint Lucia recorded an overall household population increase of 5 percent from May 2001 to May 2010 based on estimates derived from a complete enumeration of the population of Saint Lucia during the conduct of the recently completed 2010 Population and Housing Census.

    Seychelles:
    Population 2002, 81755
    Population 2010, 88311
    Solomon Islands:

    The latest Solomon Islands population has surpassed half a million – that’s according to the latest census results. It’s been a decade since the last census report, and in that time the population has leaped 100-thousand.” (http://asiancorrespondent.com/52189/what-happened-to-the-climate-refugees/)

    So much for rising sea levels threatening Pacific islands! Yet another myth perpetrated by the warmists.

  9. Sea level at Tuvalu has risen of the rate of 5.1mm per year over the last 60 years. IIRC the islands are around 1-2 metres on average, above sea level.

    If you want to know why inundation hasn’t happened yet do the math.

    It what lies ahead in the near-future that is the problem. Increased sea level rise from increased ice sheet melt will see many coral atolls overtopped mid to late century. We know this is likely due to modeling and because a similar ice sheet collapse occurred during the Eemian Interglacial around 120-130,000 years ago, when ice sheets were around the same size as they are now. The continental configurations and oceanic circulation were thought to be similar too.

    On the other hand all we get from the deniers on sea level rise in the Pacific is diddly squat science – just nutty conspiracy theory talk, and “look, squirrel!!” diversions.

  10. ‘The dynamic response of reef islands to sea level rise: evidence from multi-decadal analysis of island change in the central pacific’
    Arthur P. Webb, Paul S. Kench
    PII: S0921-8181(10)00101-3
    DOI: doi: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2010.05.003
    Reference: GLOBAL 1591
    To appear in: Global and Planetary Change
    Received date: 22 February 2010
    Accepted date: 13 May 2010

    “Results of this study contradict widespread perceptions that all reef islands are eroding in response to recent sea level rise. Importantly, the results suggest that reef islands are geomorphically resilient landforms that thus far have predominantly remained static or grown in area over the last 20 – 60 years. Given this positive trend, reef islands may not disappear from atoll rims and other coral reefs in the near-future as speculated.”

    And further, “In summary Webb and Kench found island area has remained largely stable or increased over the timeframe of their study, and one of the largest increases was the 28.3% on one of the islands of Tuvalu. This destroys the argument that the islands are drowning.”
    (http://eprf.probeinternational.org/node/9255)

    While your so-called scientific evidence that the islanders are about to drown due to rising seas amounts to “modeling”.

    Go figure.

    1. Again with the Ctrl+V from the usual suspects.

      That link you sent us to is a rather incoherent ramble, and I frankly found it hard to make much of what was being said. For some reason the author is incapable of forming active HTML links, which doesn’t help. The general tenor, however, is well illustrated by the following –

      Vincent Gray explained in his newsletter, NZCLIMATE AND ENVIRO TRUTH NO 181 13th August 2008, that something had to be done to maintain rising sea level alarm, and it was done by in [sic] a paper by John R Hunter

      The usual accusations of conspiracy to misinform, form the usual sources.

      Um, we’ve heard from the Cherrypickers; let’s hear from Arthur Webb himself, shall we?

      The best estimates for the central Pacific which correspond to the period covered by the historical images suggest there has been approximately 120 mm of sea-level rise over this period. Whilst rates of sea-level rise have accelerated over the last century, the rates reviewed in this paper are in agreement with historical rates considered by IPCC 2007.

      Whilst the shorelines of these atolls appear to have responded to historical rates of sea-level rise and the average change in island land area has so far been positive, it is not known how long this trend will continue or if this pattern is similar across the whole Pacific region.

      There are a range of other climate change stresses which may disrupt shoreline processes; e.g. sea surface temperature increase, ocean acidification, accelerating rates of sea-level rise and possible changes in storm frequency or intensity.

      Any of these or a combination may result in overwhelming the present resilience of these shorelines and if such a “tipping point” is reached, these atoll shorelines could become rapidly erosive.

      This study did not measure vertical growth of the island surface nor does it suggest there is any change in the height of the islands. Since land height has not changed the vulnerability of the greater part of the land area of each island to submergence due to sea-level rise is also unchanged and these low-lying atolls remain immediately and extremely vulnerable to inundation or sea water flooding.

      So, islands are not gaining height while sea levels around them are rising (at the rates the IPCC suggests) and while, at the moment, the atolls appear to be coping, there are obviously serious concerns for the future of these islands directly related to the various impacts of AGW.

      That’s what’s called an ‘own goal’, Joe. You get a lot of them when you never bother to check your sources beyond the Denier blogosphere.

      I’d say ‘go figure’, but it’s clear that it’s neural-outsourcing all the way for you, Joe. I don’t believe you are capable of anything beyond this “nyuk nyuk hyurr hyurr” cut-and-paste online ramraiding.

    2. What a hoot, phoney joe links to a piece of junk authored by Cliff Ollier. Olllier is a member of the denier organization Lavoisier Group.

      It seems that he gets his information on sea level rise from water diviner and junk scientist Nils-Axel Mörner who he regards as a hero, he even wrote an article praising a book on sea level rise by Mörner:

      http://www.lavoisier.com.au/articles/greenhouse-science/sea-levels/ollier2007-26.php

      Isn’t it telling how deniers can only quote another denier for their “facts”?

  11. Joe – sorry, but you’ve bitten off far more than can possibly chew here.
    Firstly: Webb and Kench carried out their survey on mostly uninhabited unpinned islets. See figures 5 & 7 in their paper. Now why do you think those atolls might be uninhabited? It’s a rhetorical question – you have no idea.

    Let me explain- they’re uninhabited because the islets are not stable – the accumulation of silt and debris atop the islets is strongly influenced by the prevailing climatic conditions. In other winds and storms can cause them to rapidly accumulate debris, and just as rapidly they can lose it. That’s why no one lives on them (water’s a tad bit of a problem too) – they’re unstable. This is especially clear in figure 5(b), Fualifeke which is on the northern tip of the atoll.

    Tuvalu just so happens to be in a region where a strengthening off-equatorial trade wind has caused anomalous (greater-than-average) water mass to build up there, and therefore greater-than-average sea level rise. See SkS post: What’s happening with Tuvalu sea level? And do note that Becker (2011) was a comprehensive assessment of all the sea level data – tide gauges, satellite altimetry, ocean modeling and GPS. Sea level at Tuvalu has risen at 5.1mm per year

    What do you think might happen to those unpinned islets with such a trend? Maybe the accumulation of debris? But note that this won’t help islanders living on pinned islets one single bit. How is the build up of sand and sediment on uninhabited islands supposed to protect people on other islets from rising sea levels? You know things like buildings, airfields, crop plantations. How’s that supposed to work? Duh!!!!

    Then of course there’s ocean acidification and mass coral bleaching that will decimate coral within several decades. Especially mass bleaching from too warm oceans – we’re about to see a recurrence of that is the next two years – sadly.

    Infantile fake-skeptic logic is not going to save Tuvaluans from rising sea levels.

    And lastly -hopefully Roger ‘The Black Knight’ Dewhurst remembers to ride you back out of here when he leaves.

  12. “While your so-called scientific evidence that the islanders are about to drown due to rising seas amounts to “modeling”.

    And the paleoclimate data too. Remember? I only went over this in a few comments above.

    So one the one hand we have rising sea levels, paleodata which suggests trouble ahead, and modeling which utilizes a combinations of physics-based equations to project future climatic change.

    On the fake-skeptic side we have chirping crickets. Hmmmmm……….?

  13. Well, I just dealt with the Organ-Grinders, so now it’s clearly time to look to the Monkey!

    Joe, you are, indeed, hopelessly out of your depth in this debate, as you have amply demonstrated yet again above. With your crass vulgarity, leering cynicism and almost pristine ignorance you are, first and foremost, a boon to our side of the argument, but your distasteful presence brings no-one any joy.

    You are utterly wasting your time. Seriously.

  14. Clearly in your make-believe world, computer modeling trumps real-world evidence so it’s rather a pointless debate. But it has always been impossible to dent fanatical religious conviction.

    Your politically correct models say sea levels will soon inundate Pacific Islands due to alleged manmade global warming (yawn!), while real-world evidence, as I cited above, contradicts it. So what do you do? You believe the models. Your models say temperatures are soaring and a “tipping point” is imminent (yawn!), while real-world evidence contradicts it with yet another record cold winter hitting the northern hemisphere even as we speak. And what do you do? You believe the models.

    Laughable! You should leave Renowden’s dog and pony show and form a comedy troupe.

    1. “Clearly in your make-believe world, computer modeling trumps real-world evidence”

      Yet more irony from a fantasist. No Joe, computer modeling is supported by real world evidence. The physics, and the models based on the physics, indicate that the world will get warmer. And guess what it is! Duh!

      Remember we’ve commented about this repeatedly – over 90% of global warming goes into the oceans and they are building up heat substantially.

      Also, I take it you now abandoned your pathetic attempt to minimize the threat of sea level rise to coral atolls of the Pacific? Managed to make your way through that Webb & Kench paper? Wonder why they didn’t just survey the inhabited isles, that would make much more sense.

  15. So let me get this straight then… You’re saying that if it’s hot, it’s global warming and that if it’s cold, it’s also global warming. More rain, global warming; less rain, also global warming; more hurricanes, fewer hurricanes, more drought, more floods… all global warming. So global warming caused everything! End of story. Excellent!

    LOL!! Keep it up guys. You’re killing me!

  16. But I have to say I admire your argument bcause it’s nice and simple: “Global warming causes EVERYTHING! Period!” I mean even Al Gore and Sir Richard Branson can understand that. It’s beautiful for its simplicity.

  17. Rob, actually I don’t give a damn either! And I’ll tell you why: it’s bollocks!

    But hey, you’re the guys perpetuating this fairy tale. I’m just pointing out how stupid the whole thing is. I mean you can’t argue with your own contention that global warming causes both extreme cold AND extreme heat can you?? You also claim it causes more floods AND more droughts. That’s what you’re claiming. No matter what happens, it’s caused by global warming. You can’t lose which is why I like it. It’s quite elegant in its simplicity. Wish I’d thought of it.

    1. This could rank as the stupidest attempt imaginable to set up a strawman. Pathetic, and not even worthy of an answer. Give up Fone, your brain cell isn’t up to the job.

    2. Joe, you’re sneering at serious science. If you’re not going to engage with the science other than by scorn and sarcasm I suggest you now leave the comment thread. You are irritating others who understand the issue far more deeply than you seem willing to do. I’ll edit you out if you continue in this vein.

    3. I’ve had 2 intellectual heroes in my life, Joe, George Orwell and Noam Chomsky.

      If you hurry you can nick round to one of your Koch-funded external brain repositories to find out what you think about them in time to make it look like you knew who they were, but to save you the trouble I’ll tell you now it’s ‘sneer’. Oh, and ‘Hyuk hyuk’.

      (Unless, perhaps, in the earlier case they’ve decided the whole ridiculous Hitchens thing means Orwell’s now been rehabilitated as a Neocon! But anyway…)

      One thing that both of these men have had in common is the belief that to be really, truly, blindingly, fanatically daft actually requires a certain level of brainpower. You need some level of functioning intelligence to be an effective ideologue, and to pull off the old trick – borrowed from religion – of believing several impossible things before breakfast, and to hope to convince others to do the same.

      Here we come to that apt and nifty term for the dreadful plague that truly is sweeping the land; ‘The Stupid’.

      Many of those in the thrall of The Stupid virus really should know better. Or, at least, they have the hardware capacity to know better, but are hopelessly bogged down, usually with Libtard crippleware (laughably now marketed under the long-standing brand ‘Conservatism’), with little likelihood of a badly-needed reboot to be seen anywhere on the horizon.

      Indeed the infected can often walk and chew-gum at the same time in a variety of fields – usually not the one in which they are overweeningly claiming expertise, of course! – from which any native dribbling idiocy would otherwise certainly preclude them.

      But their hideous emotional investment in the sacred Free Market™ means that when they perceive that she is even slightly threatened they must spring immediately to answer the call to defend her – and logic, reasoning, and, yes, even basic honesty be damned!

      They’re not, you see, actually, functionally dense, thick, plain stupid stupid, as such. But, boy they sure got The Stupid! Hallelujah!

      And then there’s you. No capital required there, I’m afraid.

  18. Joe Fone -“global warming causes both extreme cold AND extreme heat can you

    Not how it works Joe. Natural variability doesn’t just disappear because the Earth is getting warmer. El Nino/La Nina and the solar cycle weren’t ever expected to vanish because of global warming. And unless some plonker glued all the clouds in place, the amount of sunlight reaching the Earth’s surface varies greatly too.

    But greenhouse gases are persistent buggers, the global energy imbalance they create might be small compared to these natural fluctuations, but they are dogged and persistent, and adding more of them only makes temperatures go in one direction – up! Natural fluctuations go both ways – up & down, and eventually average out to zero over time.

    Got it?

    Global temperatures follow what is called a Gaussian, or Normal distribution. A number of studies have looked at this.That’s why temperatures, although clearly capable of large variation from time-to-time, generally track the average or mean. Check out the spread and shape of this Gaussian distribution – it’s bell-shaped one.

    With global warming the shape of the distribution stays the same, but the bell curve moves to the right. This means a greater number of 2 & 3 sigma extreme warm events and a fall off in extremely cold events (-2 &-3 sigma). Yes, it was cold in the USA and Europe in the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 winters, but this was a select region and the deviations were almost all within minus 1 sigma.

    In other words there was no symmetry between the Moscow and Texas/Oklahoma heatwaves and the cold winters. The cold winters happened quite frequently in the past, whereas freak heatwaves were only few tenths of one percent in the past.

    This is exactly what we would expect with global warming – cold weather isn’t likely to disappear just yet, it just likely to less severe than that of the 20th century and less frequent.

    And one last thing – while those cold events were happening most of the Northern Hemisphere is anomalously hot. By historical standards those NH winters were warm. See Guirguis (2011) for details.

    This only seems confusing to you, because you do not read the peer-reviewed scientific literature. Denier blogs are only a source of confusion and misinformation. You will not gain an understanding of how the climate works by relying on the distortions of fantasists.

    1. Phew, what a noxious gaseous eruption! I’m embarrassed for you.

      Hey Bryan (W) he’s certainly had his warning. Nobody will miss him – and I do mean nobody; even some of his supposed allies will secretly breathe a sigh of relief.

    2. “Gaussian”! Nice. Did you throw that in to impress your mates?”

      Hardly impressive Joe, I remember that studying at high school 30 years ago. It’s kind of like the basics. Of course to you it probably sounds like Quantum Mechanics – how cute. The point was, as always, to demonstrate to any reader that you just write dimwitted shite, and also that’s it’s not really that difficult to understand (excluding yourself obviously).

      “You say “a fall off in extremely cold events.” Sure about that? I’m impressed with your hubris in the face of clear observational evidence that the opposite is occurring’

      Joe, a world that gets colder when it is warmed only exists in the minds of serial fantasists. The observational evidence is provided in a number of papers most recently Rahmstorf & Coumou (2011) and the recent NASA analysis, by a team led by James Hansen. I believe it will appear soon in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, but a number of earlier papers have looked at this too. It should not be that difficult to grasp even for someone as cognitively impaired such as yourself – shift the average temperature up (as has happened) then the frequency and intensity of cold extremes will decrease.

      “But hey, I can throw in big words too, like floccinaucinihilipilification’

      It’s basic high school math. No need to be afraid.

      “And your attempt to explain away six years in a row with record low temperatures especially in Europe”

      Now you’re just making shit up. Peer-reviewed citation?

      But what on earth does this statement mean… “heatwaves were only few tenths of one percent in the past”? Few tenths of one percent of what??

      Read the recent NASA analysis. The base period in the analysis are 1951-1980 global temperatures. Now imagine that that period fitted under the bell-shaped curve in the picture I linked to earlier – the <a href="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/8c/Standard_deviation_diagram.svg/1000px-Standard_deviation_diagram.svg.png&quot;.Gaussian Distribution. It would therefore represent 100 percent – i.e all the temperature measurements at that time would fall under the curve. But look to the right and notice the 3 sigma – that 0.1% represents the extreme heatwaves that happened back then. They have risen now over tenfold – and made up 9% of global temperatures in June to August last year. This is because the distribution remains the same (the bell curve) but it shifts to the right (warming). So imagine those 2 and 3 sigma lines stay put, but the bell curve moves to the right. You get a biiiiig increase in heatwaves (extreme warm records).

      As would be expected in a warming world these warm extremes have increased massively.Ergo the 2010 Moscow, and the 2011 Texas/Oklahoma, heatwaves were due to global warming.

      “I mean does anyone seriously believe it anymore?”

      It matters not a jot what you believe Joe. The laws of physics, chemistry and mathematics do not obey the laws of humans, nor do they care for opinions, or opinion polls. Surely you must realize this?

      “Oh, apparently temperatures in NZ this summer…”

      So now you have a time machine? Summer isn’t over yet, so we’ll see what transpires. But regardless, you don’t appear to be absorbing any of this information – cold weather will still happen. Remember La Nina & El Nino? The solar cycle? Yup, they don’t mysteriously vanish because it’s getting warmer. There is no way to avoid cold spells even in a warming world. It is just that they will be less frequent and intense, whereas heatwaves will become more frequent and more intense.

      And your last sentence really exemplifies what global warming denial is all about – a fanatical commitment to willful ignorance.

    3. Joe, I warned you that the tone of your comments had to change. You posted this one while I was asleep and others have meanwhile responded to your comment. But I’m still deleting it. I’ll ask Gareth about putting you on moderation – he’s not around at present – but in the meantime resort to removing your comments when necessary.

  19. Those who hold your leash, Joe, must be concerned at the growing concern of NZ’s Pasifika population at the effect of global warming on their home islands.

    I suspect that is why you have turned up here to prance, cavort, howl at the moon, chase your tail and roll in dung.

  20. Thanks Bryan!

    Although I generally just laugh at or get frustrated by them, occasionally I genuinely find a troll’s comments offensive. Joe’s behaviour below this post is one of those instances.

    The thought that real people – such as the islanders of the south Pacific – may have their lives turned upside-down because of delays to badly-needed action brought about by contemptible, incoherent hack disinformation promulgated by the likes of Joe is genuinely repugnant to me, and his deadening, mindless ‘they’re only in it for the money’ cynicism is the ultimate insult to add to the injury.

    It’s called projection – you think others are cynical, manipulative, greedy and dishonest because…

    To any who might bleat sententiously about ‘freedom of speech’: for one; this is Gareth and Bryan’s place, and they’re amazingly tolerant of some consistently outrageous behaviour. But limits there are, and limits there should be.

    Crucially, Freedom of Speech not only does not confer a right to shout ‘fire’ in a crowded theatre, it also doesn’t mean that some badly-reared brat must be allowed to jump up and shout ‘you’re all smelly poo-head liars, nyaar nyaar’ over and over again at the top of his voice.

    (I realise this analogy may seem a little harsh, so I can only assure you that I sincerely do regret any offense caused to 12 year old boys wherever they might be.)

  21. Dear all
    I have only just saw this discussion regarding our water is rising tour. My name is Mikaele Maiava and I am the Artistic Director for the dance group from Tokelau.
    I would love to contribute to the comments made because they started by joe.fone telling us to go home because we are wasting our time….
    I feel sorry for joe.fone because he does not know what he is talking about referring to us wasting our time.
    I want to comment of a few things, yes you are insensitive because first you have no idea about the situation we are living in. You base your information on computer data and interllectual system while we travel a thousands miles because of the experience we are facing each day of our lives. You are not seeing climate change refugee because there you don’t understand how our own land mean to us, we are not afraid to deal with the situation that you big developed countries have brought the world into. We are not going to run away from our land. We only just asking you to help us by helping yourself, we are definately not in for the money. Things are very clear to us, the future of our land is threaten because of climate change, therefore we want to contribute and join the fight to ask developed countries to work together. I would like to invite you to come to Tokelau and see what you are talking about. I am proud to report that every cent that has been given because of adaptation to climate change have been put into good use by building sea walls, improving our food security etc. We don’t waste a cent of it in the islands and I thank you to NZ and Australia who are the only country who are supporting us with our adaption and mitigation projects. Tokelau by september will depend on solar power and by 2013 we will be all 100% depend on renewable energy. How can some people say climate change is not real while the majority of the world and powerful country have a forum just to discuss ways to solve climate change? Thank you for the article we are continuing to raise our voice from the small islands and in the same time walking the talk. 🙂

    1. It’s great to hear from you in person Mikaele. I still remember the pleasure with which I watched the performances and the appreciation I felt for the simple direct statements which accompanied it. I’m sorry you had to encounter Joe Fone and his unpleasantness, but be assured he represented no one but himself. Our very best wishes as Tokelau moves to renewable energy. I only wish I could say we in NZ are doing the same, but I’m glad we are at least offering some support..

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